September 3, 2010

Annual State of Telelcom Conference — October 15, 2010 COPY

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 Video and other high-bandwidth applications have reached the internet in mass and threaten to inundate the internet and the net's underlying telecommunications infrastructure. All of the social, business, educational and governmental activities that increasingly rely on a reliable, low cost and capable internet could be at risk. Is a "Next Generation" broadband internet needed to accommodate the growth? How can adequate, high quality, low cost Next Generation broadband capacity be assured? Presumably, demand growth can be handled by some combination of substantially increasing network capacity, managing current capacity through technical means such as "throttling" and by suppressing or time-shifting peak demands with "usage caps" or "tiered pricing," for examples. This leads to issues such as:

  • Is there a business case for simply increasing Next Generation capacity to whatever is demanded?
  • What industry structure will produce the greatest capacity at the least cost: monopoly, duopoly, or competition?
  • Will private investment be sufficient or will public money be required?
  • Will consumers and governments accept throttling and similar network management techniques and demand-suppression or shifting, if so, under what rules and regulations?